The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 04-23-16

Posted on April 28th, 2016 at 1:41 pm by

The Holocaust: An Indispensable Component for Palestinian Liberation

When Benjamin Netanyahu demands of Palestinians that they must accept Israel’s “right to exist as a Jewish state”, he’s telling us something. He’s telling us where the Zionist argument is weakest. Jewish Zionists like Rabbi Rob Dobrusin echo the PM’s words and Jewish so-called anti-Zionists like Josh Ruebner, do their best to obfuscate the issue. The question loom large: Does Israel have a right to exist as a Jewish state?

Four answers are always offered:

1. God gave the Jews the land
2. The Balfour Declaration
3. The 1947 UN Partition Plan
4. The Holocaust

Think we’re joking? Here’s one of many conversations this writer has had with Jewish activists, in this case an ACLU fund raiser:

Me: I’d like to know if the ACLU supports Israel’s claimed right to exist as a Jewish state?
Fund Raiser: Of course we do
Me: That’s very disappointing to me. By what right does Israel claim?
FR: What about the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust?
Me: I can assure you that 6 million Jews did not die in the Second World War
FR: <click>

Space limitations require our responses to three of the answers be short. For #1, our biblical friends can explain to us why this is a misreading of prophecy, and we non-biblicals can only shake our heads at a God who condones the use of violence against people. #2: Britain had no right to give away another peoples’ land. #3: UN Resolution 181 never went to the Security Council for a vote; ergo no force of law ever said that the UN “created” Israel.

Guess what that leaves? Yep, the forbidden H-word. The ol’ briar patch where Zionists both left and right, threaten to throw those who deign enter this hallowed ground. Listen to Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy, speaking at the “Israel’s Influence” conference March 18:

“… Israel would have never been established without the Holocaust”

Or listen to former American-Israeli PM =Golda Meir= speaking to then MK Shulamit Aloni:

“After the Holocaust, Jews are allowed to do anything.”

Are they? Are Jews really allowed to bludgeon Palestinians, dominate the US, brandish its hegemony over the Middle East (if not the world), and use this historical event to silence criticism? Or will we activists educate ourselves about the facts and have the strength to separate historical event from religious dogma? At least to ask questions like: If Elie Wiesel – the “High Priest of the Holocaust” – was correct in his description of Nazis as being the most evil force on earth, why did he and his father elect to evacuate Buchenwald with these monsters, rather than wait to be liberated by the advancing Soviets? Why doesn’t Elie even mention the existence of homicidal gas chambers in his fabled novel “Night”?

These two questions – given the courage to ask them – are but a mere tip of an iceberg that begs our attention. Spend a week with “The Fate of Jews in German Hands” by Joel S.A. Hayward*, or a day with “Debating the Holocaust” by Tom Dalton, and you might come away shocked. This writer did.

Or spend no time but just consider the fact that a dozen “Western” countries lock up historians and scientists like David Irving and Germar Rudolf for the mere crime of researching The Holocaust as an historical event. Could we claim the earth to be flat or the moon to be made of green cheese and expect such treatment? Why not? Who’s in charge?

In the balance lies the liberation of Palestine – and perhaps the liberation of America as well. To paraphrase Frederick Douglass “Jewish Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

• We note that Professor Hayward has portrayed internet copies of his thesis as “altered and unreliable”, but the University of Canterbury holds the only approved copy in Christchurch, New Zealand. This writer read the copy by Gengis Khan Publishing House a few years back and found its contents – 214 pages, 967 footnotes, 6 appendixes – valuable.


Apr 2 – 8 vigilers
Apr 9 – 3
Apr 16 – 5
Apr 23 – 7
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Remember Deir Yassin

Report on Beth Israel vigil 04-02-16

Posted on April 3rd, 2016 at 6:30 pm by

Controlled Opposition Sadly Alive and Well

Two members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends ventured to Washington, DC for a “massive” (read: 500 people) protest of the AIPAC meeting there on Sunday, March 20. Organized by Al-Awda and the ANSWER Coalition, we understood going in that Jewish Power was a topic not to be brought up. Neither group has ever encouraged discussion of this vital subject.

In an attempt to ensure the topic would receive at least some coverage, we carried a sign reminding viewers of the truly massive power of the Jewish Lobby after the Jewish state launched a devastating and one-sided assault on the people of Gaza in 2014. Our sign read “Jews Control US Senate – Unanimous Vote – July 17, 2014”.

Jew Control Senate - sm

Listen to a finger-wagging Jewish commissar laying down the rules on YouTube: “You’re doing the work of the Zionists, aren’t you? Is that what your sign’s about? All Jews control …? I’m Jewish. I’m here. (to others): I mean ‘Jews control’? The ‘Zionists’, that’s different”. (To me): “Don’t conflate the two. The Nazis do, and the Zionists do, and you’re either working for one or the other.”

The Arab controllers followed suit. They snapped over 300 photographs of the event and posted them on Facebook, but in spite of being quite visible at the two-hour protest, the signs we carried didn’t make it out of the editing room.

More Controlled Opposition

The JWPF contingent also attended the “Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America?” conference two days prior at the National Press Club. And in spite of the fact that the crimes against Palestine are being committed by a Jewish state with Jewish soldiers using weapons displaying Jewish religious symbols, and with the full support and complicity of the overwhelming mass of organized Jews worldwide*, none of the speakers dared to hold Jews responsible.

This conference failed the transparency test immediately: there were no remote microphones to take unfiltered questions from the audience. Questions written on 3 by 5 cards from this author never made it to the panel. My personal best guess for this change in format came from an event that happened two years ago at this same conference. A woman from the audience had the audacity to question Holocaust education in the US at taxpayers’ expense. For a classic example of Jewish Power censorship see Justin Raimondo and Philip Weiss putting the clamps on this lady’s question here.


March 26: Three vigilers
April 2: Eight vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Remember Deir Yassin
* paraphrase of Paul Eisen

Report on Beth Israel vigil 03-05-16

Posted on March 7th, 2016 at 10:14 pm by

A picture says a thousand words

A Palestinian businessman in Ann Arbor tells me this week that Judaism and Zionism are two distinct and separate entities, a claim heard often on the Left. When I shared with him that in 1942 over 800 rabbis signed onto the document “Zionism: an Affirmation of Judaism”, he responded “They are wrong”. Really? This Palestinian Muslim knows more about the religion of Judaism than 800 rabbis?

It might have helped the conversation had I in hand the fund raising advertisement from the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor in which a Jewish woman proclaims “there is one value that as Jews – we all share. Israel. It is in our marrow.” She doesn’t say “as Zionists”, she chooses to say “as Jews”. No bones about it (pun intended).

Now another 1,000-word photo emerges from our friend in New Jersey who happened to walk by a Judaica shop in Teaneck and shares with us this Jewish religious garment – called a yarmulke or kippa – emblazoned with a clear political message: All of Palestine is Jewish. Here is what our friend says about this religious garment:

Jewish Skullcap - Sm

Taken this morning in West Orange, New Jersey, at the Lubavitcher Judaica Shop. The “kippa” is a religious article. It features a map of Palestine (“Israel”) with the word “mine”, as in “not yours”. I submit this to counter those who would argue that Zionism is a political agenda separate from the Jewish religion. This is an item worn exclusively by Orthodox Jews and its racist Zionist message could not be more clear.

Palestinians, like my friend above, would do well to remember that their lives have been destroyed and certainly disrupted by Jewish exclusivism, Jewish supremacism, and Jewish power. Herzl did not write “The Zionist State.”

Revealing statements from Dr. Jill Stein

Dr. Jill Stein (Green Party) is the second Jewish candidate (or perhaps third) for president of the US and, as such, bears similar responsibilities to that of Bernie Sanders, whose candidacy we spoke about in our report of February 2. A friend passes along an article by The Peace Resource which touts Stein’s alleged commitment to “…human rights, equality, peace, freedom and justice for everyone.” A few statements caught our eye. One, “Bibi is a threat not only to human rights and to U.S. interests, but also to the security and sanctity of the Jewish people living in Israel-Palestine.”

We thought Bibi was a threat to the Palestinian people, but Jill senses Jewish-centric concerns. And why not? Although it’s not stated in the article, Jill is a Jew and may have been swayed by her years of indoctrination of real and alleged Jewish suffering to view the ethnic cleansing of Palestine through Jewish eyes.

Second quote: “On taking office, I will put all parties on notice – including the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority, and the Hamas administration in Gaza – that future U.S. support will depend on respect for human rights and compliance with international law.” Is the US currently supporting the Hamas administration as implied by Stein’s statement? Are we actually funding what the US has declared to be a terrorist organization? Back to the drawing board on this one, Jill.

And what she doesn’t say looms large: no demand for the Right of Return for Palestinians whose lives have been destroyed by the Jewish state; a tacit agreement, rather than a challenge, to the legitimacy of a Jewish state foist upon an unwilling and remarkably resilient population. No visible support for BDS and certainly no challenge to Jewish power. Dr. Stein may look good to our friend, but as they say in Lenawee County, “That dog won’t hunt.”


Three vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Challenging Jewish Power since 2003

Report on Beth Israel vigil 02-27-16

Posted on March 1st, 2016 at 6:34 pm by

Taking the Message Mainstream

Last summer we reported on The Great Holocaust Trial by Michael Hoffman and its shocking revelation that one of the foremost authorities on the Holocaust was “at a loss” to produce a single document proving the existence of homicidal gas chambers anywhere in Nazi-controlled territories.

Last week we took this message to the Ann Arbor City Council during the public commentary section of its bi-monthly meeting. Generally, the remarks made in this forum go unremarked by Council members, but Councilman Chuck Warpehoski couldn’t resist the kneejerk impulse to label my comments as “Holocaust denial” and opine that they were “repugnant”.

Readers are invited to review the address to Council, below signature and to view them by clicking here and advancing to 00:13:50. You can also view and hear Mr. Warpohoski’s comments by advancing the video to 00:41:05. Mr. 679-Warpehoski’s remarks, also included after signature, will be responded to and expanded upon at the next council meeting on March 10 at 7:00 pm, City Hall.

Jewish marrow contains Israel, not America

Flash back with us to the comments of Heidi Budaj, Detroit Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, when she was granted sole commentary on the Detroit billboard sponsored by Deir Yassin Remembered: “This particular [billboard] goes a step further and raises an old anti-Semitic canard of dual loyalty, implying that Jews are not loyal to the country in which they live.”

Not so fast, Heidi. The Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor, in a full page ad covering the entire back page of the March issue of the Washtenaw Jewish News, explains quite clearly that, under the heading of “Find the Israel within”: “Whether you are secular or religious, Orthodox, Conservative or Reform – there is one value that as Jews – we all share. Israel. It is in our marrow.” Check it out.


The Federation, clearly speaking of all Jews, is telling the reading public that their core loyalties lie with the state of Israel. Heidi may whistle past the graveyard claiming Jews are loyal Americans, but, according to the Federation, this claimed loyalty does not inhabit the marrow and must reside elsewhere. America, maybe, Israel … YESS!


Feb. 13 – Three vigilers
Feb. 20 – Six vigilers
Feb. 27 – Four vigilers
This report dedicated to the memory of Bradley R. Smith
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Comments made at Ann Arbor City Council Meeting, Feb. 16, 2016:

Good Evening,

The movie “Son of Saul” was released in the United States on December 18th. It deals with the Holocaust. According to Wikipedia, it joins 341 other films produced since the 1940s on this topic.

On December 21st in this very chamber, the memory of the Holocaust was invoked by a speaker regarding her reaction to the City’s plan to cull the deer population. Tonight I’d like to share with you what I found to be revelatory in this book, The Great Holocaust Trial by Michael Hoffman.

Mr. Hoffman was a reporter at the “false news” trial of community activist Ernst Zundel in Toronto in 1985 and also at the 1988 re-trial. Though Ernst was handed guilty verdicts on both occasions, they were overturned by the Canadian Supreme Court in 1992, when they declared the country’s “false news” law unconstitutional.

Instructive in understanding revisionist history is the following exchange, reported by Mr. Hoffman, between Zundel defense attorney Doug Christie and Raul Hilberg, certified by the Court as an expert witness, and lauded by the Canadian Jewish News as “one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Holocaust”.

Christie: “Can you give me one scientific report that shows the existence of gas chambers anywhere in Nazi-occupied territory?”

Hilberg: “I am at a loss”

Christie: “You are (at a loss) because you can’t.”

When asked by the Canadian government to testify three years later at Ernst’s retrial, Hilberg declined. More astonishing is what Hoffman then writes:

“Neither did a single ‘Survivor’ take the stand in the second trial. They too feared what would happen to the credibility of their tales when subjected to critical scrutiny by Zundel’s defense team”.

To my friends discussing this book Hilberg’s revelation comes with shocking implications. Has the fabric of the standard Holocaust narrative been ripped substantially by Hilberg’s admission, now thirty years old? If claims about homicidal gas chambers are false, doesn’t that pierce the heart of Zionist defenses protecting the state of Israel? Is challenging the factual aspects of the Holocaust a worthwhile endeavor for the goal of liberating Palestine?

There are many who think it is.

Thank you

Chuck W. at comments from council;

Finally I want to thank Mr McGee for his reminder about respect. I think even in situations where there are deeply divided views it’s important to maintain good decorum and some sense of respect. There’s always room for respectful communication. For example I found the Holocaust denial comments at tonight’s meeting – I deeply deeply disagree with that perspective; and however though I deeply disagree with that perspective I respect civil discourse so I respect Mr. Herskovitz’ ability to bring those comments forward. I also respect my ability to say that I find them repugnant. and being able to say that I respect the process, I respect to comment without hissing heckling or name calling is part of the civil discourse.

Report on Beth Israel vigil 02-06-16

Posted on February 13th, 2016 at 8:08 am by

Bernie’s a Jew; Don’t breathe a word

My partner offers some criticism of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to family members, telling them that he’s a Jew. The reaction to her comment is sharp, almost hostile … “What difference does THAT make?”. She withdraws from the conversation, saying later that she should have said “Zionist”. But should she have? Let’s consider …

Bernie Sanders is a Jew. No doubt about it. And because he’s a Jew and a senator in the US Congress, we can safely assume that he’s a Zionist Jew, even if we had no access to his political views: Imagine for a moment that Bernie was an anti-Zionist Jew, and ask yourself what chances would he have had to become a US senator, holding such views? Or of winning any elected office for that matter?

So what difference does it make that Bernie’s a Jew? Let’s take a quick look …

Bernie is the only Jewish candidate among the mix.

That makes him a member of arguably the most politically powerful group in the United States. No other candidate can claim that status.

He’s the only one of the candidates that’s eligible for birthright citizenship in the country that receives the most US foreign aid in the world. An apartheid country that openly discriminates against its non-Jewish citizenry and subjugates those non-Jewish non-citizens living under its control.

According to the Times of Israel “Shaar Haamakim [a Jewish kibbutz] was a bastion of socialism when the Vermont senator volunteered there in the ’60s, and continues to preserve ‘social democratic values’”. Certainly these social democratic values did not extend to the Palestinian refugees then wishing a return to their homeland. Nor is Sanders arguing for their return today.

No, it’s safe to say Bernie supports a Jewish state in Palestine. And though he’s certainly not alone among the candidates in that regard, Bernie is uniquely positioned to challenge Jewish power both here and in the state that by definition would grant citizenship to him and deny it to the other candidates.

Imagine for a moment we had a real free press, one where journalists could ask meaningful questions of candidates …

“Mr. Sanders: When you served as a Jewish kibbutznik in Palestine, I mean Israel, was the offer of citizenship made to you?”

“Mr. Sanders: Did you accept that offer? Were you in fact a citizen of Israel?”

“Are you a citizen of Israel today?”

“Do you think that members of the US Congress should be totally transparent about possible citizenship in foreign governments?”

“Would you support an inquiry that would supply American citizens with the information about their leaders’ possible dual citizenship in other countries?”

“Author and philosopher Gilad Atzmon, in his study of Jewish identity politics, describes three categories of Jews: (1) Those who follow Judaism, (2) Those who regard themselves as human beings that happen to be of Jewish origin, and (3) Those who put their Jewish-ness above all of their other traits. Given your track record in the Senate supporting the Jewish state, would you identify yourself as a third-category Jew? Put another way, how does your Jewish-ness influence the way you feel and vote in regard to Israel, the Jewish state?”

“For over twelve years a group of dedicated activists in Ann Arbor, Michigan has identified the Jewish community as the politically strongest ethnic group distorting US policy in support of Israel, and has clearly challenged the power of the local Jewish community. Do you agree that Jews are indeed powerful, and would you support such challenges to this power?

“Regarding our constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech, and since NPR reports that your “father’s family was mostly wiped out during the Holocaust”, would you favor joining France, Germany, Israel and nine other countries which provide prison sentences for those revisionists challenging the standard narrative of the Holocaust?”

“Thank you, Mr. Sanders”


Jan 30 – Seven vigilers
Feb 6 – Six vigilers
America First, Not Israel
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 01-16-16

Posted on January 21st, 2016 at 11:19 am by



A hard core of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends showed up this week to once again take to the streets for the only regular protest in Ann Arbor, certainly the only one which holds the Jewish community accountable for their support of Apartheid Israel. Loyal readers have heard this before.

What perhaps you haven’t heard is – and channeling the words of baseball player/manager Charlie Brown on a rainy day: “Where IS everybody?” With apologies to Michael Rabb and Rich Siegel, who have executed their own public protests at Zionist synagogues, we wonder where are have all the activists gone?

There are at least two possible explanations for the failure of others to follow our example. The first one is that our small group is completely wrong-headed about the issue. The second is that Jewish Power has so dominated the movement in support of a Jewish state – both inside and outside the peace movement – that activists who entertain the possibility that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state – are cowed into silence by that very power.

A Jewish jeweler, well known in the Ann Arbor art scene, stops by the vigils and tells me that “This is completely wrong”. Why is it wrong? “It prevents meaningful dialogue and turns the hearts of those who might actually agree with you.” In an exchange that well could have happened twelve years ago, we reply that the time for meaningful dialogue has passed, and refer to the 1955 “dialogue” that was similarly beyond its time between Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus driver.

We might win the battle of a successful counter-argument, but she wields the Jewish Power cudgel and walks away satisfied that our group hasn’t grown in well over a decade of protest, and provides small challenge to her well-established Jewish state.

Where IS everybody?

Should JWPF fold our tent and join ranks with openly Zionist groups like Jewish Voice for Peace? Stop calling out Jewish Power, the illegitimacy of a Jewish state founded as it was on brute violence, Jewish supremacism both in the US as well as in Palestine? Focus our efforts on “the Occupation?”

Where IS everybody?

Should we recant our principled stance and join the ranks of Palestinians in this country whose concern rarely extends beyond family and entertainment? Oh yes, expect these folks to come out in scores whenever the Jewish state has an outburst and kills and maims thousands of Gazans, but hey, they haven’t migrated to the cozy US, and junior needs to be driven to soccer practice, so we really just don’t have the time for continued, sustained protest.

Where IS everybody?

We’re told that “Peace is the Church’s Business”, and though appreciative of the national Presbyterians and UCC in their efforts to support the BDS movement, we note that both statements from these groups came with the blessings, if not direction, of Jewish Voice for Peace. JVP clearly supports Israel’s claimed right to exist as a Jewish state and also wields the cudgel of Jewish Power to ensure that Christians in the Palestine solidarity (not liberation) movement toe the line at the 1967 military occupation of the 28% of Palestine not stolen in 1948.

Where IS everybody?

Saving the worst for last we have the Jewish “progressive” who sometimes likens Zionists to fascists, but is the first to circle the wagons to protect the Tribe when groups like JWPF single out the Judaic element of Zionism. Fortunately, there are a few – like Paul Eisen and Gilad Atzmon – who recognize these Jewish “anti-Zionist” Zionists for what they are.

Four dedicated vigilers last Saturday. At 69 years of age I’m the youngest of the group. Standing (some sitting) in a breezy, snow-flaked Saturday morning, up against a very powerful bunch of well-heeled Zionist Jews. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of these guys … but

where IS everybody?


Israel: No Right to Exist
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 01-02-16

Posted on January 5th, 2016 at 5:05 pm by

Young Men’s Judeo-Christian Association?

Floating across our desk this week from our local YMCA came “We Belong – A newsletter for members & volunteers of the Ann Arbor YMCA” (January 2016). The Mission statement was printed on page one:

To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

“We Belong” also reports that the Cleveland, Ohio Director of Marketing and Development is moving to Ann Arbor to become our new President and CEO.
A quick check on the Mission Statement from the 2014 Annual Report of the YMCA of Greater Cleveland finds:

To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.


Another check places the origin of the YMCA in London, England., the website of the US affiliate, reports that in 1844, founder George Williams, a young farmer-turned-department store worker, was troubled by what he saw for the young men who migrated to the city from rural areas to find jobs. “… London offered a bleak landscape of tenement housing and dangerous influences… [Williams] joined 11 friends to organize the first Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), a refuge of Bible study and prayer for young men seeking escape from the hazards of life on the streets.”

Well, George, welcome to the 21st century and a dominating Jewish influence in the social sphere: the “C” in “YMCA” has all but been removed from the American branch of the organization you founded and now puts “Judeo-Christian” principles ahead of your outdated and silly “Christian” ones. Just as influential Jews in the Ann Arbor community saw to it that the “First Unitarian-Universalist Church of Ann Arbor” became the “First Unitarian-Universalist [u/l] Congregation of Ann Arbor”, it appears to the careful observer that there are forces about set on removing “Christ” from Christmas and “Christian” from the YMJA…

An Unexpected Teaching Moment

Feeling pretty clever about our most recent bumper sticker – “Liberate Palestine, End ‘Israel’”, we were somewhat surprised to find a note critical of that sticker pinned to our windshield from a Harley Davidson motorcycle rider in Deerfield, Ohio. The note read “Liberate America, End Liberals.”

OK, insult aside, what was this person communicating? Probably that he didn’t give a rip about Palestine, Palestinians, or anyone from the Middle East, as those folk weren’t part of his everyday experience. Weren’t Muslim Arabs responsible for the attacks in New York and Washington fourteen years ago? Check out this license plate from an auto salesman’s desk in nearby Brunswick, Ohio:

Va Plate

Whether or not this biker believed the government report on the attacks of 9/11, he was saying “How about caring about America? Forget the foreigners! They mean nothing to me.”

This teaching moment allowed us to see the impact of Dan McGowan’s “America First, NOT Israel” bumper sticker and successful billboard which bore the same slogan. We believe Americans – JWPF’s target audience – will act when they feel their own interests are at stake. Why are US taxpayers forking over 10 million dollars a day to a country which kills Americans, spies on us and has its own partisans in the highest levels of the US government? Perhaps our biker friend might sport a bumper sticker of his own one day:

America First JPG


Six vigilers
Israeli citizens in OUR Congress?
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
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